Louisville Metro Government has been handed another legal defeat in its attempts to collect fees on take-home police cars.
In 2008, the city imposed a fee on police officers who used their city-provided cars off duty. The fees were increased over the years to help fill budget gaps. The Fraternal Order of Police challenged the fees, saying they violated union contracts.
On Wednesday, a Jefferson Circuit judge upheld a state Labor Cabinet decision in favor of the police officers, and blocking the city from collecting the fees. Mayor’s spokesperson Lindsay English says the city may still appeal the decision, but a decision has not yet been made.
“We are reviewing the judge’s order and we’re consulting with the county attorney’s office to decide what the next step will be,” she says.
The Labor Cabinet and the judge both said the fees are part of police officers’ compensation, and not the job perks the city claims they are. The judge said fees could be negotiated into officers’ union contracts. The judge did not rule that the city should repay fees that have been collected, though the city was encouraged to negotiate reimbursement.
English says the fees were not part of the current budget, so while the city may still appeal the decision, the budget will not have to be revised.
Most recently, officers paid $100 per month for their cars.